Every year on lakes where white bass and hybrids are present, there’s a few weeks when the action is at it’s best. That’s usually when threadfin shad finally reach schooling size and the bass tear into them!
It doesn’t take them long. After the shad fry reach about three-quarters of an inch long they begin to school together. Once they do, the whites follow in hot pursuit. What follows…is mayhem! Dozens and dozens of whites slamming into schools of baitfish with mouths wide open. This type of fishing usually lasts until the shad grow in size where the smaller white bass can no longer swallow them whole. After they reach an inch or more in length the shad have only larger predators to fear.
The best days to catch the action is when the wind lies. The slick water makes the schools easier for the whites to corral and acts as a barrier. Early in the morning and late in the evening are the best times to catch them actively feeding. When they are its fast and furious action! You’ll catch fish on cast after cast! What makes this type of fishing appealing too is that just about any type of boat will do. I’ve seen persons in john boats, kayaks, pontoons, and even inflatables catching them. Persons walking the bank can catch these schooling whites too when they venture close to the shore. The choice of gear and tackle isn’t complicated either. Light action spinning or spin-casting rods and reels work well which makes this kind of fishing perfect for kids. Rooster Tails, Roadrunners, mini Rattle-Traps, and in-line spinners will all catch fish. Remember to keep the size of the lure close to the size of the shad fry and you’re in business!